What to see in Madrid in one day. A quick visit to Madrid

If your time in the capital of Spain is limited and you only have one day to see Madrid, here we are going to tell you how to see the most important things, although in such a short time you will be missing the most important things.

This walk with the best things to see in Madrid in one day will take you through the main places of interest in Madrid, you won’t be able to spend too much time in almost any of them, nor will you visit museums and monuments, but you will get an idea of ​​the main things that see in Madrid in 1 day.

This is the walk that we propose, with which you will be wanting to return to visit Madrid in more detail.

What to see in Madrid in one day

The door of the sun

What to see in Madrid in 1 day - Puerta del SolBecause we have very little time to visit Madrid, it is best to start very early to take advantage of the only day available. To visit Madrid in one day, we recommend starting at Puerta del Sol, the nerve center of the city and the main square to see in Madrid in one day.

In addition, there is a train station in Sol from where you can go directly to the airport, so it is the best place to start your visit if what you are doing is a short stopover in the city.

The main building in Puerta del Sol is the Casa de Correos, seat of the Presidency of the Community of Madrid and famous above all for the New Year’s Eve chimes. But it is not the only building that we should pay attention to in this place.

Other interesting buildings are the old Hotel Paris or Casa Cordero. And we should not stop paying attention to the famous Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, the Tío Pepe poster, the Equestrian Statue of Carlos III or its two fountains.

The Calle Mayor and the Plaza Mayor

What to visit in Madrid in 1 day - Plaza Mayor


From Puerta del Sol there are several streets, all with a great special charm. Some of them are the most commercial in the city and perfect for doing your shopping. But we are going to continue the tour through one of the most beautiful streets to see in Madrid in 1 day, Calle Mayor.

Calle Mayor is also very commercial but where we will find buildings with a lot of history in Madrid such as the Casa de Calderón de la Barca, the Colonial Company Building or the Palacio de los Consejos, among others. But without a doubt, the great jewel of this area is just a few meters away, the impressive Plaza Mayor de Madrid.

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid is one of the most famous squares in Spain and stands out for being an arcaded square completely enclosed by 3-storey buildings with a reddish color that is very characteristic of Madrid. In it, the Casa de la Panadería and the Casa de la Carnicería stand out, as well as the Statue of Felipe III, which is located in its center.

The entrances to the Plaza Mayor are also of great interest, highlighting above all the Arco de Cuchilleros. But from the Plaza Mayor we will leave through Calle de Ciudad Rodrigo to reach the bustling Mercado de San Miguel and return to Calle Mayor, where we will continue on our way.

The Town Square

Madrid - Villa SquareWe continue walking along Calle Mayor and a few meters away we will find another of the jewels to see in Madrid in one day, the incredible and historic Plaza de la Villa, so called since the fifteenth century when Madrid received the title of Noble and Loyal Villa.

Each of the buildings in the Plaza de la Villa are for framing. The most beautiful of all is the Casa de la Villa, which was the seat of the Madrid City Council from 1693 until a few years ago when it was moved to the Palacio de Cibeles. The other buildings to admire in the Plaza de la Villa are the Casa y Torre de los Lujanes, in the Gothic-Mudejar style, and the Casa de Cisneros.

And in the center of the Plaza de la Villa we will find the Monument to Don Álvaro de Baztán. After the visit we can continue our way along Calle Mayor to the Palacio de los Consejos.

The Almudena Cathedral

Madrid - Almudena Cathedral - InteriorOur 1-day tour of Madrid continues to another of the great monuments to visit in the city. We are talking about the Almudena Cathedral, the only Spanish cathedral consecrated by a Pope and whose construction was completed at the end of the 20th century.

The exterior of the Almudena Cathedral, with its neoclassical style, is not the most striking part of the temple. To enjoy it we must access its interior, in two very different areas.

If we go around the temple we come to a small door that gives access to its crypt, possibly the best thing about the Almudena Cathedral, with a neo-Romanesque style that will leave you speechless.

The interior of the cathedral itself is in the neo-Gothic style, of which we must highlight its central nave and the altarpiece, where the image of the Virgen de la Almudena is found. We can also visit its museum and climb its dome to have great views.

The Royal Palace of Madrid

Madrid - Royal Palace - ExteriorNext to the Almudena Cathedral, and forming a very special complex with it, is the Royal Palace, the most important building of your visit to Madrid in one day.

The first thing that will draw your attention to the Royal Palace will be its facades, all spectacular so that you can get an idea of ​​the wonders that you will find inside.

Inside the Royal Palace, if you decide to visit it despite the short time you have in Madrid, you will find a series of different rooms that will leave you speechless, from the Throne Room to the Hall of Mirrors passing through the Hall of Columns and also enjoying the Royal Pharmacy and the Royal Armory.

In the surroundings of the Royal Palace of Madrid we find fantastic gardens such as those of Sabatini or Campo del Moro, which are also worth a visit. And next to the palace, another place of special interest is the Plaza de Oriente, which overlooks the interesting Teatro Real.

The Plaza de España and the Temple of Debod

Madrid - Spain SquareA few meters from the Royal Palace is another of the most beautiful squares to visit in Madrid in one day. We are talking about the Plaza de España, where there are several very interesting skyscrapers and buildings.

Both the Edificio España and the Torre de Madrid will be the places that most catch your attention in the Plaza de España, but you should also pay attention to others such as the Casa Gallardo or the Compañía Asturiana de Minas Building, as well as the Monument to Miguel de Cervantes that is in the center of the square flanked by the statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

From there we must walk to the Temple of Debod, a royal Egyptian temple that was brought from there stone by stone as a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping in the transfer of the Temples of Abu Simbel to save them from the waters of Lake Nasser. Visiting the Temple of Debod is also a very interesting experience, as well as enjoying the views from the viewpoint next to it.

The great road

Madrid - Gran Via - Metropolis Building

Retracing our steps we will arrive at the most famous street in Madrid, the Gran Vía. The busiest and the one that many know as Madrid’s Broadway thanks to the theaters and musicals that we can enjoy along it.

A street that was once full of cinemas but has evolved to meet the leisure needs of Madrid residents and visitors.

Walking down the Gran Vía is not only a commercial and leisure experience. It is also an experience of architectural admiration thanks to its incredible buildings along it, among which we must highlight the Carrión Building, the Press Palace or the Telefónica Building, the first skyscraper in Europe.

In this street we also find the Plaza del Callao, one of the busiest in the city, with unique buildings and from where the commercial Calle Preciados starts, which would take you back to Puerta del Sol. But we will continue walking along the Gran Vía, leaving Montera Street and the beautiful Gran Vía Metro station to one side, we will reach the Metrópolis Building, the last of the impressive buildings on the street.

As a piece of advice when you walk along the Gran Vía, we will tell you to always look at the top of the buildings because they are crowned by imposing statues that will surprise you.

Alcala Street

Madrid - Alcala Street - Bilbao Bank BuildingIf Gran Vía surprised you, Calle de Alcalá will not leave you indifferent either. It is the longest street in Madrid and one of the longest in Spain, but its main attractions are found in the stretch between Puerta del Sol and Puerta de Alcalá.

In this section, almost 1.5 km long, we find so many monuments and historical buildings that you will not want to leave Madrid to enjoy this street again and again. We can admire the Customs House, the Madrid Casino, the Bilbao Bank Building…

And so walking down Calle de Alcalá finding one architectural wonder after another until you reach the Bank of Spain and find yourself in another of the most beautiful squares to visit in Madrid in one day, Plaza de Cibeles.

Cibeles Square

Madrid - Cibeles Square - PalaceIf you thought that you had already seen everything in Madrid and that nothing else would surprise you, then you were wrong. You still had to admire the Plaza de Cibeles, another of the best places to see in Madrid in one day.

It is located at the confluence of Paseo de Recoletos, Paseo del Prado and Calle de Alcalá and each of its buildings has its history and beauty. The one that attracts the most attention is the Palacio de Cibeles, current headquarters of the Madrid City Council and which, in addition to a beautiful interior in which there are usually beautiful exhibitions, has a viewpoint that we recommend going up to.

The other buildings on each corner of Plaza de Cibeles also deserve your attention. These are the Bank of Spain, the Palacio de Buenavista and the Palacio de Linares, which is the headquarters of the Casa de América.

And in the center of the square we find another of the wonders of Madrid, and one of the best known, the beautiful Cibeles Fountain, where the goddess appears mounted on a chariot pulled by two lions that seem to want to head towards Gran Vía. doubt, one of the best things to see in Madrid on your one-day visit.

The Gate of Alcala

Madrid - Puerta AlcalaThe day tour in Madrid is coming to an end, but you still have a lot to see. In fact, the best thing would be to stay more days in the city and enjoy other wonders, but if this is not possible, with this visit you will have known the most important things in the city.

If we continue walking along the Calle de Alcalá, and leaving aside the Palacio de Cibeles, we will arrive at the Plaza de la Independencia, where another of the most famous monuments of the city is located, the imposing Puerta de Alcalá.

The Puerta de Alcalá is a symbol of Madrid and has been in this same place since 1778, designed by the brilliant architect Francisco Sabatini and commissioned by Carlos III. It consists of 5 arches and we recommend you admire it from both sides, as its facades are different.

With this tour you will know the most important things to visit in Madrid in one day. If you have more time, come and enjoy the Retiro Park or return to Gran Vía to admire this street at night.

You can find more information about the best things to see in Madrid on its official tourism page.

If you have more days to visit the city, we recommend reading our article on what to see in Madrid in 2 days.

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